Category Archives: Food Dyes

Weiss 2012: Synthetic Food Colors and Neurobehavioral Hazards: The View from Environmental Health Research

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Environmental Health Perspectives, 2012 Jan;120(1):1-5. Dr. Weiss examines the basis of the FDA’s position on food dyes, the decision of the Food Advisory Committee, and the reasons that this is an environmental health issue He points out that they limited … Continue reading

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Kamel 2011: The Potential Health Hazard of Tartrazine and Levels of Hyperactivity, Anxiety-Like Symptoms, Depression and Anti-social behaviour in Rats

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Journal of American Science, 2011; 7 (6): 1211-1218. This paper from Egypt describes a double-blind controlled study on rats to determine the behavioral effects of long-term exposure to various doses of tartrazine (E102, Yellow 5) provided in the drinking water … Continue reading

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Stevens 2011: Dietary sensitivities and ADHD symptoms: thirty-five years of research

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Clinical Pediatrics (Phila), 2011. Apr; 50(4): 279-93. In their review of the literature, Stevens et al conclude that the evidence indicates that a diet free of food dyes is appropriate for “children who have not responded satisfactorily to conventional treatment, … Continue reading

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Prescrire International 2009: Artificial food colouring and hyperactivity symptoms in children

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Prescrire International, 2009. Oct; 18(103): 215 (no author listed) In a health assessment of artificial food dyes, Prescrire International, a non-profit organization providing information and continuing education for healthcare professionals, considers the hypothesis that artificial food dyes worsen hyperactivity symptoms … Continue reading

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McCann 2007: Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial

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Lancet, September 6, 2007 As a followup to the earlier Bateman (2004) study, the authors retested 153  toddlers as well as 144 elementary school (8/9 years old) children from the general population.   They were briefly put on a dye-free … Continue reading

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Husain 2006: Estimates of dietary exposure of children to artificial food colours in Kuwait

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Food Additives & Contaminants, 2006. Mar; 23(3): 245-51. Husain evaluated the amount of food dyes consumed by children in 58 schools in Kuwait, and found that the amounts of four of the colors were 4 to 8 times above the … Continue reading

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Inomata 2006: Multiple chemical sensitivities following intolerance to azo dye in sweets in a 5-year-old girl

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Allergology International, 2006. Jun; 55(2):203-5. This is a case report about a 5-year-old girl in Japan with multiple recurrent problems:  urticaria (hives), angioedema (swelling), headaches, dyspnea (shortness of breath), loss of consciousness, and abdominal pain.  Her symptoms were made worse … Continue reading

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Lau 2006: Synergistic Interactions Between Commonly Used Food Additives in a Developmental Neurotoxicity Test

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Toxicological Sciences. 2006 Mar; 90(1):178-87. This is one of the few studies examining and comparing the neurotoxic activity of food additives alone and in combination.   After determining how much of each additive reduces neurite development by 20%, Lau combined pairs … Continue reading

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Bateman 2004: The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children

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Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2004 Jun;89(6):506-11. The authors put 277  3-year-old children from the general population on a diet without artificial food dyes or benzoate preservatives for a week, and then challenged them at various times with a drink … Continue reading

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Schab 2004: Do artificial food colors promote hyperactivity in children with hyperactive syndromes? A meta-analysis of double-blind placebo-controlled trials

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Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 2004 Dec;25(6):423-34. Searching 10 databases for double-blind placebo-controlled trials on the effects of artificial food dyes, Schab and Trinh found 15 that met their criteria. QUOTE:  “Our meta-analysis supports the hypothesis that AFCs (artificial … Continue reading

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Reyes 1996: Effect of organic synthetic food colours on mitochondrial respiration

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Food Additives and Contaminants, 1996. Jan;13(1):5-11 In this lab study, 11 artificial food dyes – not all of them used in the US — were tested to determine their effect on the mitochondria of rat liver and kidney. NOTE:  Mitochondria … Continue reading

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Rowe 1994: Synthetic Food Coloring and Behavior: A Dose Response Effect in a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Repeated-Measures Study

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Journal of Pediatrics, November 1994, Vol. 135, pp.691-8 150 of 200 children [75%] improved on an open trial of a diet free of synthetic food coloring, and deteriorated upon introduction of foods containing synthetic colorings. 34 other “clear” or “suspected” … Continue reading

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Pollock 1990: Effect of artificial food colours on childhood behaviour

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Archives of Disease in Childhood, 1990.  Jan;65(1):74-7, Heart and Lung Institute, Brompton Hospital, London. Pollock did a double-blind placebo-controlled challenge study on 19 children who had improved previously on an additive-free diet.   He didn’t use any additives but food dyes, … Continue reading

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Ward 1990: The influence of the chemical additive tartrazine on the zinc status of hyperactive children: A double-blind placebo-controlled study

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Journal of Nutritional Medicine; 1 (1). 1990. 51-58. Ward first studied the zinc status in various tissues (blood, hair, saliva, etc) in 20 hyperactive boys compared to 20 non-hyperactive boys.  Then, in a double-blind placebo-controlled study of 10 hyperactive boys … Continue reading

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Goldenring 1982: Sulfanilic acid: behavioral change related to azo food dyes in developing rats

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Neurobehavioral Toxicology and Teratology, 1982. Jan-Feb;4(1): 43-9. Goldenring studied the effects of giving sulfanilic acid to rat pups.  He chose this chemical because it is formed when azo food dyes are digested.  He gave the sulfanilic acid to normal rat … Continue reading

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Lafferman 1979: Erythrosin B inhibits dopamine transport in rat caudate synaptosomes.

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Science. 1979. July 27; 205 (4404): 410-2. Lafferman found that erythrosin B [Red 3] given to rats prevents the uptake of dopamine (the “feel good” neurotransmitter) by nerve cells in the brain called the caudate synaptosomes.  This is consistent with … Continue reading

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Shaywitz 1979: Effects of chronic administration of food colorings on activity levels and cognitive performance in developing rat pups treated with 6-hydroxydopamine

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Neurobehavioral Toxicology, 1979.  Spring;1(1):41-7.  (Today called Neurotoxicology and Teratology) In a study on rat pups, the highest dose of food dyes caused the greatest activity.  Even after a half hour, the pups only calmed down by 7.25% — while the … Continue reading

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CSPI Ramping Up Campaign Against Food Dyes

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57,619 more signatures are needed to make it to 150,000 signatures. Tell the FDA to Ban Harmful Synthetic Food Dyes A number of studies – and an emerging scientific consensus – demonstrate that some children experience episodes of inattention, hyperactivity, … Continue reading

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The CSPI is Seeing Red Over Food Dyes

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Seeing Red:  Time for Action on Food Dyes was published in January by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). This outstanding paper explains why children continue to be exposed to and harmed by food dyes and other … Continue reading

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